Introduction: This week I read the results of a survey of
over 37,000 American college students taken by the
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The survey
had to do with free speech and violence. Nearly 25% of the
students believed that it was right to use violence to stop
a controversial speaker. At several prominent women’s
colleges the number was nearly 50%. You, friend, are a
controversial speaker. Jesus teaches in John 15:19 that if
we are “not of the world” it will hate us. This radical
change of opinion (in my country) tells me that we are
headed for a moment of destiny for the religious choices
that we make. Perhaps this moment is coming sooner than we
think. Let’s dive into our Bibles and learn more!

I. The Reapers

A. Read Revelation 14:14-15. Who holds the sickle?
(It is Jesus.)

1. Who gives Jesus the order to begin the
harvest? (The picture of the messenger coming
out of the temple indicates that God the
Father gives an angel a message for Jesus: the
time of the Second Coming is now.)

2. Why would Jesus not know the hour of His
return? (Read Matthew 24:36. It tells us that
God the Father alone knows.)

B. Read Mark 4:26-29. Is the harvest in Revelation 14
that we are discussing for the good or the bad
people? (The suggestion from other texts, like
this one in Mark, is that it is the good people.
This idea is bolstered by the fact that Jesus is
personally performing the harvest.)

1. Is the harvest a good thing? (Yes! Jesus is
intervening to take His people home with Him.)

C. Read Revelation 14:17-19. Is this a harvest of the
good or the bad? (The bad. They are thrown into
the “winepress of the wrath of God.” That tells us
they are the lost. An angel “who has authority
over fire” orders another angel to reap these
grapes. Contrast this with Jesus performing the

D. Read Revelation 14:20. What does this suggest
about the number of the lost? (This is a lot of

E. What should we conclude from these texts we have
studied? (A time is coming when the final judgment
is executed.)

1. Why do you think the Bible pictures this as a

II. The Sign of the Reapers

A. Read Matthew 24:3. The disciples ask an imprecise
question, but it has to do with the “end of the
age.” Why would they come “privately” to Jesus?
(They believe that this is important inside

B. In Matthew 24:5-7 Jesus recites events that will
lead up to His Second Coming. Read Matthew 24:8-9.
We now have a transition in events. How would you
characterize this transition? (Jesus tells us that
worse things will follow.)

C. Read Matthew 24:10-12. What are these worse things
that are in play when Jesus comes? (People will
hate. The love of others “will grow cold.”)

1. The United States has written into its
Constitution and laws the idea that everyone
should have freedom of speech even if citizens
don’t like hearing what is said. The legally
proper response to things you don’t like to
hear is to walk away. The remedy for wrong
information is more information. What is the
reaction reported in Matthew 24? (Verse 9
reports hate that results in your death.)

2. What does the survey I referred to in the
introduction tell us about the next
generation? (Many young people have not been
taught to love freedom, rather they have been
taught to hate. If violence against speech you
don’t like is appropriate, you are not showing
love. When the majority has an attitude like
that you no longer have a free society.)

D. Read Matthew 24:13. What is our responsibility?
(To endure the hostility.)

1. What, exactly, do you think that means? My
natural (lawyer’s) heart is to fight. To
resist those who reject freedom.

E. Read Matthew 24:14. How does this fit the idea
that free speech rights are diminished? What does
it suggest about how we should resist?(We have two
related battles. First, we work to change hearts
through the gospel. People who are converted do
not hate. Second, to preserve freedom of speech so
that we can share the gospel of Jesus we need to
fight against oppression through legal means.
Let’s explore this in greater detail next.)

III. What We Should Do

A. Let’s look again at Mark 4:26-29 but from a
different angle. Read Mark 4:26. What does this
tell us is the responsibility of the farmer? (To
scatter seed.)

B. Read Mark 4:27. What point is being made when it
says the farmer “knows not how” the seed grows?
(He is not responsible for the mechanics of

1. Let’s apply this to the warning that we will
be hated in the future for our gospel message.
What strategy does this suggest to minimize
the hate? (Our responsibility is sharing the
gospel. That responsibility is very narrowly
described. It does not seem to include arguing
with enemies of the gospel.)

C. Read Matthew 28:19-20. What is our obligation that
extends to “the end of the age?” (Make disciples.
Baptize them. Teach them.)

1. If argument has a place in this sequence,
where would it be? (In the teaching part. The
teaching part relates to those who have been

D. Read Matthew 10:14-15. What does this teach us
about arguing with opponents of the gospel? (We
should not, rather we should leave these opponents
to their final judgment.)

1. What would make you want to argue with
opponents of the gospel? (Pride?)

2. Does this mean we should never have debates
with unbelievers? (No. The target for our
message is the audience, not our debating

E. Read Matthew 10:16. What does this tell us about
using our common sense?

F. Read Matthew 10:21-23. How personal will be the
betrayal? (Family members will betray you and your
children have you put to death.)

1. Consider again the survey in the introduction
where nearly 25% of college students believe
violence is the answer to things they do not
want to hear. Does that make Matthew 10:21
more understandable?

2. What counsel do we find in Matthew 10:23 about
standing our ground, fighting, or debating?
(When we face actual persecution we should

G. Read Matthew 10:26. If these haters want to kill
us, if we are told to flee, how can we have no

1. What is meant by the hidden being revealed?
(The truth of who is right and wrong will
eventually be known.)

H. Read Matthew 10:27. What kind of attitude should
we have when sharing the gospel? (This is an
attitude of boldness. No fear means to share, but
we should also be ready to retreat when needed.)

I. Read Matthew 10:28. I think this is the ultimate
answer to the prior question about the way in
which we can be fearless. What is it? (We might be
killed on earth, but we cannot be denied eternal
life. Life everlasting is still our destiny.)

J. Friend, a wonderful and terrible time is ahead.
Will you accept Jesus as your Savior right now so
that you will be among the harvest taken to
heaven? Will you be fearless in sharing this good
news with others even though you are hated for it?
Why not ask the Holy Spirit to help you have the
courage for this moment of destiny?

IV. Next week: The Everlasting Gospel.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.